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Us 17, U.s. 14, Boehner 10, Warfarin 9, Alex Witt 8, America 8, Washington 8, Bob 6, Doma 6, Syria 6, South Carolina 6, Clinton 5, Israel 5, John Boehner 4, Tamiflu 4, London 4, Citi 4, California 4, Britain 4, Thomas Roberts 3,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    December 9, 2012
    9:00 - 11:00am PST  

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leading members of both parties square off on the fiscal fight with 23 days and counting. >> the president wants the race to go up. we don't want to be back here in another ten years answering the same questions. right after the election, we sent a plan to the president. we gave revenue, but looking for spending cuts. he took three weeks to come back to us. he's gone on still on the campaign trail, still working through. republicans have not waited to solve this problem. >> congressman is going to struggle with the numbers as mitt romney did during the debates. they don't add up. if you don't increase the tax rates on the highest 2%, you cannot generate enough revenue for deficit reduction. unfortunately, the changes in the tax code, which is republicans want to turn to will increase taxes and cut tax deductions for the middle class americans. >> all right.
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joining me now, contributing editor for the daily beast. we just heard from democratic senator there. does that sound like any progress has been made? as we talk about 23 days, that doesn't take into account we are looking at december 21st. if you happen to watch that on television, it looks like both sides are hardening. the cement is getting thicker. there's a growing recognition on the republican side that they have lost the debate over the higher tax rates and that those rates will go up. and there are lots of other tax increases that aren't getting the public attention. the rate at which capital gains are taxed. the rate that is paid on
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dividend income. i'm stumbling over my words because i don't have a lot in that category. i think the republicans are willing to move there and there's money there. the president has been more forthcoming on entitlement reform in the past. he's going to give a little more. what's going on publicly now is the republicans really want the white house to own the pain. they don't want to be responsible for telling their base that we are giving in and we want to cut benefits and they don't want to hold the bad for all the bad things that are going to happen. i think it's a lot of posturing on both sides. i still think we are going get a deal. >> as we look at that, that is optimism. we had optimism weeks ago. as we get closer to the 21st, it's the day washington is going to close down for the holidays. that is the drop dead date. the mayans may have had it right about december 21st and the
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calendar. we hear the politicians pushing their talking points each day on this matter. what you are hearing inside washington, d.c., there's the sense of how close the president and the speaker are to reaching this agreement. as eleanor points out, they are wanting both sides to feel the other's pain. >> thomas, it's funny you mention december 21st. that would be an ideal scenario. it's not that surprising if we are here talking about this on december 31st. they have to get through so much stuff. everybody is talking about the tax rates for the upper 2%. there's so many other issues they have to tackle. they have to agree on how much money they are going to raise from tax increases and how much obama is willing to give on the entitlement side. aside from, you know, things like the estate tax and investment and stuff like that, they have to figure out what to do about the al tier yar minimum
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tax. they have to figure out what they are going to do about the debt ceiling and whether they want to extend unemployment. it's much more complicated than what we are talking about. we are focusing on the income tax rates. >> if the president and the speaker are able to reach a deal, the thing to point out, there's no true guarantee it's going to pass congress. >> oh, i think -- the big stumbling block is john boehner getting enough republicans. i think nancy pelosi has proven she can pass things. she's proven to be a good soldier. boehner has a harder time coraling the tea party. he's taken steps to show who is boss. he punished four members withdrawaling their favorite assignments. he's got the leadership lined up with him. he looked like a very weak
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speaker ten days ago. he's looking stronger now. i think republicans understand that the deal they get after the first of the year is a worst deal than they get before the end of the year because the next congress is more favorable to democrats. i think he's in a better position to make the sale this time. >> one thing we have been watching is the two-step process. tom cole of oklahoma has taken a lot of heat from his own party suggesting to get the tax cuts out of the way for the tax cuts. here is what he's having to say about that. >> none of us want to raise the rates on anybody. but the reality is the rates on everybody go up at the end of the month. since we agree with the democrats, 98% of the american people and 80% of the bush tax cuts, get it off the table now so they don't worry about it. they are the president's leverage. the democrats are screaming your taxes are going to go up.
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>> that's the president's leverage in this debate as he's saying there. if congress extends the tax cut for everyone except the 2%, does it give the republicans the leverage they need after the new year? >> yeah. we are still going to have the fight over the debt ceiling. obama would love to take it off the table now. there's no way republicans are going to give that up. it's a crucial piece of leverage than the tax rates. as we saw a year and a half ago, that is really sort of putting the basic fiscal health of the country at risk. a lot of republicans are looking at that saying this is a much better chance to get the big changes on entitlements we would like to find. >> andy, i ask this to both of you, eleanor, too. i'll start with eleanor. what are the chances that game is not going to get tied into this? the president was very specific when he gave the speech to the business round table this week talking about the fact this is
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not a game he's looking to play once again. what are the odds that will not be involved? >> the odds are it will not be involved. the president has important allies this time, that's the business community. the republican party has been the party of business, you know, big business, small business. the business community does not want to go through all that wrangling over the debt ceiling and view and other possible downgrading of the credit rating. i think there's important new allies, they have moved from the republican side to the democrat side. >> andy, do you agree? >> yeah. you have seen worry about that show up not so much in the financial markets, but the consumer confidence level which we saw take a sharp dive. we have seen pressure on republicans to reach a deal on this. in order for them to agree to give up that leverage and extend it, they are going to want to see specific sbeentitlements.
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>> thanks so both of you. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. dramatic rescue. americans were kidnapped in afghanistan. they are freedly u.s. military coalition troops. they took him on wednesday in the district outside of kabul. six people were killed. two arrested during the dangerous mission. dr. joseph is seen here in this video posted on youtube. there's no word on his condition or if he was harmed in captivity. in egypt, a call for new protest against president morsi today. his attempt to diffuse weeks of unrest failed. last night's announcement did not satisfy opponents on a draft constitution. we are live in cairo. do his opponents see this as a victory? >> reporter: well, right now, they don't feel it is a victory.
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not only has the referendum gone ahead as scheduled, there's been no dialogue about the constitution and the articles which are the main source of detention. the decree issued november 22nd was the cast list to the street protests we have been seeing. over the past two weeks, the demands of the protesters extend beyond the decree. they want a new constitution drafted. what the opponents say is the constitution does not represent a broad section of egyptians, does not protect the rights of minorities and women. they want it rejected and repealed. they were hoping to do it through a dialogue with the president. the president is not budging on that. yesterday, he held marathon talks. he announced he's cannesling the constitutional declaration. it will take place december 15th. that's why the major umbrella
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organization that represents the secular liberal operation known as the national salvation front rejected the declaration last night. they are calling for more street protest. there's a great deal of turmoil here in egypt. thomas? >> thank you. hugo chavez says his cancer returned as he arrives in cuba for a new round of treatment. he discussed the seriousness of his condition. he's named a vice president. he acknowledged he may not be able to continue on as president. doctors found a return of malignant cells. we turn to other news for you now. in the northern plains, the upper midwest, they are facing a massive winter storm. north dakota posted blizzard and travel warnings. parts of the state as temperatures and snow began to
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fall. we have more on the forecast. good morning. good afternoon, excuse me. >> it is afternoon, isn't it? >> it is for us, morning for people somewhere else. >> you were right on some level. we are actually talking about some nasty weather across the northern plains. we have blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings through the dakotas, minnesota, wisconsin and northern michigan. ironically, the blizzard warning was not the area where we saw most of the snow. winds are gusty. because of that, it's tossing around the snow and we are seeing reduced visibility still at this point in south dakota. the heaviest of the snow is falling through minneapolis right now. that scenario, we are likely to pick up six to nine inches of snow. duluth, minnesota will pick up anywhere from six to nine inches if a heavier batch of snowfalls. it spreads eastward into wisconsin. for the game later tonight in green bay, it looks like there will be four inches of snow on
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the ground. elsewhere, we have this cold front. it's all connected. it's cold on the northern side of the front and obviously where we have the thunderstorms develop, there's a chance of severe weather across tennessee into alabama, mississippi later on today and we could end up seeing tonight an isolated tornado or two. we have cold weather to the north and severe storms tonight. thams? >> she says they love that snow. four inches for them, no big deal. >> good stuff. >> thanks so much. we go to las vegas. saturday night, this stunning slug fest that ended with manny on the canvas, knocked out cold. a vicious right in the sixth flattened him. he remained there for two minutes before he was brought to his feet. the mgm was sold out. you'll recognize these familiar faces. before the fight, he managed to meet the fighter. still ahead for you.
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more fall youth from the radio hoax. they are contacting australia to have them investigate. nick los kristof on the moe mentos from his life in a far away land. >> here are your receipts. $150 for one and $203 u.s. for the other. >> you won't believe what the receipts bought him. find out in 20 minutes. [ female announcer ] think you need to go to a department store counter
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the search to replace the
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tea party's maker jim demint, he will leave office left a hole in the senate at a crucial time. the leading contenders are tim scott, gresham bare rhett, henry mcmaster, nathan valentine and my next guest, congressman from south carolina. it's great to have you here. you are on the short, short list of people to fill the seat. you were quoted saying if the governor were to ask you, you will take the job. but the big question is, do you want the job? >> oh, sure. i think any politician who tells you he wouldn't like to be a united states senator is lying to you. we talked preliminarily with senator demint about what would happen if he retired in 2016. we have given it some thought.
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any person it's offered to would take it. >> have you spoken to the governor about this, yet? if so, what has the discussion been like? >> i have not. i have friends of hers. we served in the legislature together. i was in the house with her for two years. i have several friends in her office. i have spoken to them, not the governor directly. >> do you feel you have an inside track into her thoughts on this and where she wants to go? >> not necessarily. keep in mind, south carolina is a small state. the legislature is 170 people. we all know each other. every person you listed off on the short list served with her or knows her very well. personal relationships are common. >> it's a great state. i have vacationed there. we love south carolina in my family. does it concern you senator jim demint is leaving and he's going to have more power and impact
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from the republican party but doing so from the bench of the private sector? >> well, the question is, does the heritage foundation offer him a bigger podium, a larger microphone? he thinks it does. i hope he's right. the one thing we know is he's doing it to stay engaged, continue to be a thought leader. i respect his decision. i hope he's right. we need that leadership. if he can do that better than from the senate, than more power to him. we need someone to fill that role. >> when we talk about he was a king maker, do you think that's something you would want to take up? >> oh, i don't know. i think there's a lot of good folks in the senate right now that are looking to sort of fill that gap. rand paul, mike johnson, lee, marco rubio. there's a good group in the senate. i don't think any one of them is going to be a king maker. you are going to see
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conservative forces in the house and the senate coalesce. we meet with the conservative senators on a fairly regular basis. that group will sort of become the leaders of the conservative movement nationwide. >> thanks for joining me. i appreciate your time today. >> thank you. history just after midnight. another milestone on the road to marriage equality. that journey is taking a detour to the supreme court. coming up, we look at the options facing the nine justices. keep it locked in. you're watching weekends with alex witt. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive.
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for more information including cost support options, try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. the unexplained death of a royal nurse topped newspapers in britain. they profiled her agony on the radio prank gone wrong describing her hospital stay. the observer wrote about the single letter and bouquet left for the victim outside the hospital. it stated humiliated alongside a somber picture of the victim.
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the tragic news stretches to australia where the company that employs the deejays are discussing it. a scathing letter saying we will be cooperative with the investigation. we are taking immediate action reviewing the process involved. london police said they may be interested in speaking to the deejays about the prank. the hosts are under intensive psychological counseling. a nurse that used to work with the victim came to her defense. >> i don't know what ishds have done or anybody else must have done. >> a complete medical explanation of the death is expected this week. the deejays may speak tomorrow. now, today's list of number ones. congrats to the finest football player in the land.
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johnny manziel winning the hiz man. it's not the honor an actor would like, but eddie myrurphy on a list of most overpaid actors. we won't get into all these numbers but then there's katherine heigl and reese witherspoon. dr. phil is earning his keep. he's the top tv talker after winning a ratings period. 007 overcomes "twilight." the new james bond flick is the projected winner knocking breaking down part ii to second place. rihanna topping the top 100 with "diamonds." those are the number ones on weekends with alex witt.
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. welcome back to weekends with alex witt. i'm thomas roberts. itis time for the strategy talk. have president obama and speaker boehner argued themselves into a corner on this fiscal cliff? >> the president has a clear, simple position. he wants to prove he can dominate by getting the rates up. either you are going to go over the cliff or find some kind of dramatic concession for the president. >> how does boehner give on rates. he said i oppose tax rate increases because tax rate increases cost american jobs. that gives you no room to give on rates. >> joining me now is former vermont governor and howard dean and republican strategist.
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general tmen, it's great to have you hear. if both president obama and the speaker postured themselves to the point any concessions look like a loss? >> i'm not paying that close attention to the negotiations because i believe we ought to go over the cliff. if you want maximum deficit reduction with the tax rates we paid with bill clinton and cuts as well as human service cuts, that's how you ought to do it. any compromise is going to be for the cliff. i'm for the cliff. >> newt gingrich, now governor dean there. do you feel the same way? is that the best way for the president to go over the cliff? is it plausible deniability for boehner to say we stayed firm, we played "hardball"? >> james baker was on tv talking about it isn't for the right or
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left, republicans or democrats but what's best for the country. it's not best for the country to go over the cliff. it's not a cliff, it's a slow rolling hill. it's not really a cliff on january 1st. some things go into effect right away. others more spread out. they are problematic. if we go over, you are looking at a move in the markets. dow jones could fall 1,000 point ifs we go over the cliff. it's not good for the country. >> i find it ironic for the republican to be arguing for not reducing the deficit as much and the democrats talking about reducing the deficit. not only will the market go down but we'll have a recession. the market will go crazy on the upside. we will have dealt with the biggest uncertainty, not taxes, the deficit. >> going over the cliff, governor won't get that done because then you have the debt ceiling. there's other provisions you
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have to deal with. it will not get that done. it will cause further issues that will be resolved later on. >> only if the debt ceiling gets carved into it. one is not linked to the other. >> we can be talking about one not linked to the other. if we go over the cliff, we have to reveal the debt ceiling. at that point and time, the question about the debt ceiling is that much more important. it will have to be raised. as a republican, a proud republican, i am willing to sit here and say we probably need to give some on taxes. there's no question about it. this president also needs to give and show real leadership. if he doesn't, if he wants to punish the wealthy or those in the top 1% and say hey, i won, now i can stick it to everybody else. >> how is the president punishing the wealthy when we came out of a unified time of
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being able to express a federal voice for us. they voted to have this president come back in. this isn't a big bait and switch. the president ran on this, campaigned on this, it was driven into the ground through social media, news coverage, newspaper headlines. what part of it is a bait and switch to republicans that they did not realize taxes were going to go up on the wealthiest of americans. it was going to have to be, you need to pay more because we have to get out of this spending issue we have and we have to get out of our debt issue. we have to pay off the credit card for two unpaid wars. >> and other things that this president put into effect such as the war on libya and obama care which is adding to the deficit. i'm not saying it's a bait and switch. 60 million people did vote for mitt romney. the president did get reelected. there's no way to dispute that. he's got the mantle to lead. as i said, most republicans
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don't have a problem with giving some on tax rates. this president has to give on spending. he's not appearing to do so. all he wants to do is raise rates at any cost, but not talk about spending at all. if he doesn't, it's not negotiation. it's a one-way hammering. >> i know you have been watching the day-to-day negotiations but the democrats have put spending out there or put spending cuts out there and looking at entitlement reform as a way to compromise on this. >> let's look at what this is. this isn't a bipartisan agreement. now what you're basically seeing is both parties trying to walk it back and not do what they agree to do. every time it happens, you know who wins? both parties in congress win and get what they want. i am tired of people saying one thing and doing something else. what is going to happen is there's going to be a lot less deficit reduction, fewer tax rises in the cliff and fewer
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spending cuts in the cliff. i think it's bad for the country. somebody, at some point needs to take the medicine for this. i felt's not going to get easier as time goes on. go over the cliff or slope and stop having these kicking the can down the road. a settlement is kicking the can down the road. we need predictability on tax rates and predictability on deficit reduction. it's what we ought to stick to. >> the problem with going over the cliff is some of the issues are not resolved by going over it. some are resolved down the road. going over is kicking the can down the road. we are not going over both. both sides, it's not a one minute decision. nothing is agreed to and we move on with our lives. the debt ceiling has to be dealt with. >> entitlements have to be dealt with, too. >> no question about it. >> there's less deficit reduction, not more and that is a mistake. we are going to take what they
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agreed to a year and a half ago. i agree with you, let's move on to the other issues like the debt ceiling. >> gentlemen, we are going to have to leave it there. thank you for your time. i appreciate it. in today's office politics, alex continues her conversation with new york times columnist, nicholas kristof who share what is haunts him most of his coverage of the cambodian sex slave trade. they begin by talking the israeli/palestinian conflict. >> i have conflicting feelings because it seems to me that, you know, israel has, in recent years been undermining the prospects of precisely the two-state vision and has been adopting policies that are quasi suicidal. you have israeli policies and these extraordinary human rights
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groups, historians that just totally warm my soul. this group you mentioned, abbuys for human rights are going out every day siding with palestinians who are getting their olive trees chopped down, risking their own safety at times to do that. it's a courage but anymore than that, a moral courage that i think, represents the best, not only of israel but of human beings. we haven't had this problem over the years of palestinian hard liners and reinforcing israeli hard liners who then bolster the hard liners. the reason that the israeli doves are gone from the scene is hamas. if the palestinian authority and palestinian moderates are destroyed, that would be because of israeli hard line policies. >> well, then what is the u.s.'s
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role? >> i can't think the best model is ireland. when i lived in britain in the 1980s, any kind of peace deal in ireland was inconceivable. there's so much hatred and distrust. right now, there isn't a palestinian deal that we can do between palestine and israel. you can at least gradually move toward a situation where that becomes more feasible in the future and the steps to get there certainly involve a freeze on settlements. i think that's one of the critical ones. so, i wish the u.s. were doing more to try to create a situation where a middle east peace becomes possible down the road. one of the ironies of the middle east is we know what a deal will look like. a palestinian state with small trade offs. we know the terms.
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it's the clinton per am ters. they have been negotiated almost to the last "t." it's just a question of how we get there. >> is there anything you hold most dear in this office that once in awhile you take your head out of the computer screen, look at it and say that grounds me? >> one of the things i did back in 2004 that raised a lot of eyebrows, i bought two girls from a brothel and remained in close touch with them over the years. i have their receipts. when i bought them, i got receipts from the brothel that is owned them. it shook me up that you can buy a human being and you are issued a receipt like a title for a car. i have their receipts in here. >> that may be why it's the story that stays with you. >> maybe. you know, you see these kids,
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these 12, 13-year-old girls and then one day, they are kidnapped and they wake up in a brothel. then they are going to end up dying of aids in that brothel. this is like 19th century but they are going to be dead of aids. it's incredible to think it's happening so long after emancipation. >> what's next for you? >> i'm headed to china over the holidays. i hope to go via another country that isn't expecting me, so maybe i shouldn't mention it. >> typical nicholas. >> that was great by alex. coming up next weekend, alex will sit down with al roker, which you know is going to be a lot of fun. don't miss that. that comes up next weekend. the supreme court preps to
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hear two cases. some in the lgbt community are worried about the high court taking on these cases. that's next. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu.
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100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. welcome back. right now, gay and lesbian couples in the state of washington are being maried legally for the first time. it's the first chance since voters passed marriage equality. more marriages will continue throughout the day. this comes as the supreme court announced they will hear two landmark cases on same-sex marriage. they will rule on weather they have the right to marry and whether the federal government can override state's decisions. any outcome will make history. joining me now, jonathan turley. it's good to have you with us. as we talk about this, public opinions have certainly evolved. you have said that the court has been slow to follow.
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has the court evolved far enough to legalize marriage equality especially with the prop 8 and the case before it and how close do you expect the vote could be? >> i expect it to be very close. what you have to recall is it was only in 2003 that the court in lawrence v. texas overturned a decision called hardwick which criminalized homosexuality. the decision of the court that said you can criminalize it was decided by justice powell who never even met a homosexual not realizing his clerk was gay. this court evolves more slowly than society at large. it will be close. there are great risks. this could be the brown v. board of education for gay and lesbian couples.
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or the case before it that embraced segregation. it's very hard to predict. it leaves many of us very, very nervous. it's not just the 120,000 couples in this country who are gay or lesbian and married but it affects all of us. we currently have a country that disenfranchises people who want to marry for love and we don't let them. 31 states prohibit those type of marriages. >> a lot of people come back to the 1960s in loving versus west virginia and whether it will mirror that merely 50 years later. the court, though, has ten marriage equality cases to choose from. as i pointed out, they only chose two. if i know this correctly, they had eight different ones to consider choosing and two prop 8 ones. they have one doma and one prop 8. >> what's fascinating, this is a
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court that has avoided this issue. it's been pathological. everyone in lawrence v. texas, the opinion was distorted in my ways because of a clear effort not to say anything that would have baring on the same-sex marriage issue. suddenly, they take two issues with the broadest possible front. the question is, what are they going to do and whether they are going to reach an impasse. if there's an impasse, sometimes they go for narrow decisions. there are outs in these cases. both cases have standing issues. questions of whether these are the party that is have a right to bring this type of challenge. the standing issues are particularly prominent in the doma case. the proposition 8 case probably offers the broadest scope for a major ruling. what people, many people hope, is that that would be the case
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where the court says this violates equal protection. you can't deny these people the same rights of marriage. if it were to do that, then it would effectively set aside 31 state measures, constitutional and statutory. >> what you say about the narrow decision, we recall back to obama care. john roberts making the surprising decision on this that the mandate was not unconstitutional. do you think that john roberts takes into consider rationing looking at the ballot measures that won in maine, maryland, minnesota and washington state and thinks about the history of being the chief justice as such a young man, he's going to be on the bench 30 more years and wanting to be on the right side of history? >> frankly, i hope he does. i believe this court needs to get on the right side of
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history. they have moved in that direction with lawrence v. texas. i think all eyes are going to be on justice kennedy. who voted to accept these cases. many gay and lesbian advocates did not want the cases before the court. they wanted to weight before the issue goes before this court. so, the question is who? one possibility is justice kennedy decided before he left the court he wanted to make a statement in this area to change the legacy of the court. that's the most hopeful reading. kennedy is a very interesting man. he's very, very thoughtful and i would be surprised if he wanted to be on the wrong side of history. but, there is a potential here for not just a great elevation of human rights in the united states but a great blow to it. >> jonathan, great to have you on today. thanks for your time. >> thanks, thoms.
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secretary of state hillary clinton will attend a meeting in morocco where she will recognize the representative of the state. this is amid growing concerns assad has chemical weapons. joining me, ambassador ross who served with four u.s. presidents and was adviser in iran for secretary clinton and the director of the security counsel. what is the obama administration's red line on the chemical weapons? >> i think the president announced it last september and he repeated it last week. the secretary of state has done so as well.
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if check cal weapons are used, this becomes a red line and becomes something as the president said a few months ago, changes his cal cue louse. i think we have been out there very clearly saying that use chemical weapons and everything is going to change in terms of the possibility of american intervention. >> we have been talking about those words. what is the u.s. willing to do? are we specifically talking act boots on the ground? >> i suspect we are not talking boots on the ground. there are probably ways to get at this without that, probably from the air. i think we are probably also coordinating closely with turkey, jordan and israel because all of those countries have a profound concern, if in fact, chemical weapons are used or control is lost. >> when we talk about the chemical weapon, there's an article that says they are skeptical that reports are accurate.
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there may be no evidence showing assad is planning to use them if he had them. are you concerned that we have going to see what we saw a repeat of ten years ago with iran? >> no. this is dramatically different. it's not only one country saying this is the case, there are multiple countries following it and following it closely. there is no mistaking the fact that syria has large stockpiles of chemical weapons. this is not something that is disputed. the question is going to be what are they doing right now? are they moving the chemical weapons? are they putting precursors together, putting gas in bomb form? these are all things you see reports describing over the last several days. i don't think this is something that is emerging from the east here. it's something that clearly is on the minds of all of israel's neighbors and is obviously something we watch closely. you don't see this being something that is a source of debate or contention.
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>> lastly, secretary clinton is expected to recognize the rebels this week. you talk about air support from the u.s. does that mean we are going to start giving them weapons? >> i think that this is something that the administration is not yet prepared to do. there's a certain reality we have to recognize. that reality is, it's not only that the regime is going to come down. it's that there's an opposition out there. we have a huge stake in what happens the day after assad. there's a balance of forces that currently is tending to favor more the radical muslimists. you are going to have to provide means. the means can't go only to the radical muslims. we aren't getting the money or military means but they are. if you want to influence the balance of forces and the shape of syria, you are going to have
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to provide support to secular forces if there's going to be any significant impact we want to have for the future. >> it's not about the now, it's the then. thank you. that new movie about president lincoln is bringing political rivals together. meanwhile, there's a christian movie website raising objections to this movie. you wonder why? we'll bring it to you in today's ups and downs. [ male announcer ] we began serving handcrafted coffees in seattle, and people seemed to like it. so we wondered -- where else could we take this? ♪ for over 40 years, we've brought our passion for fine coffee and espresso to people everywhere. but one place was impossible, until now. our lattes, espresso and brewed coffee, now in your home. the verismo™ system by starbucks. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat.
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try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. hi, everybody. great to have you with me. i'm thomas roberts in for alex witt. it's 1:00 in the east and 10:00 out west. we are counting until we start the slide down the fiscal cliff. another republican senator opening the door to raising taxes as part of the deal. we want to go straight to d.c. in the a white house and mike viqueira. who are we talking about what is lending their voice to the fact
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that taxes could go up? >> he was a heretic last week and he's keeping it up. it's bob corker. he's not been here that long but he's marching to his own drum when it comes to the republican side. bob corker, the republican in the senate said he would break the grover norquist push. he didn't talk about the tax rates. as we all know, the key is the president's and democrats insistence on the rate going up from 35 to 39n't 6%. this week, he was much more specific. he's saying to republicans, hey, cut our losses now and live to fight another day. here he is. >> has a growing group of folks looking at this and realizing we don't have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue. we have one house, that's it. the presidency and the senate in the democrats hands. a lot of people are putting forth a theory.
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i think it has merit. you go in and give the president the 2% increase that he's talking about. the rate increase on the top 2%. all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements. >> what corker is also saying, what he went on to say is when we hit the debt ceiling next year, in february, then republicans are going to have the leverage then. that's something the president dispu disputed. one problem, bob corker is a senator, he's not in the house of representatives. that's what we keep waiting to hear between the two principles in the matter, president obama and john boehner. we have not seen movement today or this weekend. >> mike viqueira at the white house. thank you. new today, leaders from both sides agreeing the best option is to avoid the fiscal cliff. they can't agree on which path to take to get there. i don't think republicans or americans want to raise any taxes just to continue this spending in washington. they want a more efficient and
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more accountable. what we are saying is we need to do what ronald reagan did with tip o'neill, show the leadership to get in the room. same as bill clinton did with newt gingrich. get in the room and make the changes that are needed. >> the president wants to solve the problem. it's what he said in the campaign. it's what he's saying now. we cannot lurch from one crisis to the other. think of all the times tea party republicans and speaker boehner threatened to shut down the government over the debt ceiling. listen, if we are going to have this certainty for businesses to invest and know new jobs are being created we have to get this behind us. >> joining me now, dana millbank and kristina. it's great to have you both here. bob corker said the idea of raising taxes on the top 2% has merit. the question is how much merit
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it has with speaker boehner and the republican party. where disease it stand? >> we have been hearing more and more encouraging noises. the republicans have taken steps in that right direction. i wouldn't get too mesmerized. there's incentive for them not to strike a deal at least until the last deal. i think you can count on them to do the right thing. after all the possibilities are exhausted. >> not everything is exhausted yet, just us talking about it. christina, elijah cummings says there's a deal 70% chance of happening. think about that. 30% chance of failing. what are you hearing in washington? >> well, you know, anybody that does predictions, you never know what is going to happen. >> unless your name is silver.
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>> exactly. there's a lot of time here. we are looking at today is december 9th. congress likes to take things to the brink. the pressure of the holidays and getting out of town for the recess is a motivating factor. we have seen it a lot of times. of course this is a town without a budget in place. they have to do another continuing resolution. there's a lot of different negotiating deals that they can push some of this off. they are going to have to come to some agreement. the details of that are what's getting worked out behind closed doors. i wouldn't expect anything for at least a week. >> dana, in your latest piece, come to think of it jim demint and the heritage foundation make sense. it's about the announcement of the senator from south carolina resigning coming in january to head up the heritage foundation. how does that make sense to you? that he would leave four years early of his term to go to the heritage foundation? >> i think he's a perfect guy to
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run a think tank. it's what we are in here in washington. think tanks are not about coming up with new policies. >> did you say the post thought era? >> post thought era. is thought dead? it's obvious, if you look around this town, you have to come to this conclusion. it's not about new ideas or solutions. it's about hammering the other side, bomb throwing. it's what jim demint has been good at. a lot of people are disappointed he's leaving the senate for a place of less power. if you are throwing bombs, perhaps it's safer if he's doing it across massachusetts avenue at the heritage foundation and not on the floor of the senate. >> along that line, i had a chance to speak to a senator from south carolina. he's mentioned as a possible replacement. i asked him if he wants this job. here is what he told me. >> sure. i think any politician that says
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they would not like to be senator is not truthful. we talked about what would happen if he retired in 2016. we have given it thought. any politician it's offered to would certainly take it. >> the one thing he went on to say when i asked him if he would take up the mantle of being the tea party king maker he's not interested in that. what do you hear about replacements for demint and what goes into the chemistry? >> of course. the governor has a big decision to make. there's a lot of pressure on her to look at congressman tim scott. he was elected to a second term. also african-american. this is something the senate has no african-americans and this would be, you know, a way to achieve that. this would be a rising star in the republican party. somebody that leadership looked to repeatedly to represent them,
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show more diverse face to the party and he's considered good for the state of south carolina. his seat is also a safe republican seat. you are not going to have concerns for that party that he would lose his seat. what's fascinating about the timing is that appointment from the governor only lasts until 2014. that means two big senate races on the ballot. the politics of a primary challenge against senator lindsey gram, another republican. whoever gets the replacement is going to shift the ground under their feet of whether it ends up being a competitive party for graham or on the side of the old demint seat. >> it's about the long game of looking at the calendar. dana, christina, thanks to both of you. a reminder you can watch "meet the press" coming up here at the top of the hour. a reair of that show. right now, the dallas cowboys are playing in cincinnati. one of their players is in court
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accused of killing teammate. he's charged with intoxication manslaughter of brown. he was driving drunk when he was speeding in his mercedes. flipped and skidded hundreds of feet early saturday morning. he began pulling brown's body from the wreckage. they were roommates and attended college together. he's grief stricken and could face 20 years in prison. a dramatic rescue in eastern afghanistan. a doctor kidnapped five days ago has been freed by a coalition group. they took him on wednesday in the sarobi district outside of kabul. six people were killed and two taliban leaders arrested during this dangerous mission. he is seen here in this video posted by youtube. there's no word on his condition or if he was harmed while in captivity. the public outcry over the
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radio hoax aimed at a royal nurse is forcing a radio company to hold a board meeting. the deejays undergo counseling and could speak during the coming days. we are live in london. what is the latest word from the radio company on how they are handling this with investigators wanting to ask more questions? >> the radio station released a letter that was written to the chief executive to the hospital where the nurse worked. in it, we can assure you we will be cooperative with investigations. in response to a specific question sent out from the hospital to the radio station yesterday, the radio station said i can assure you we are taking immediate action. prince william made his first public appearance since news of kate, his wife's pregnancy broke.
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the flashbulbs popped. for once, they were directed only at him, not his wife, who is still at home resting. shaking hands is part and parcel of his job. this father-to-be has more on his mind than most. he seemed relaxed. but, for the couple, this has been a week of contrasts. the delight of kate's pregnancy, her acute morning sickness was eclipsed by this death who was on duty where kate was and picked up the call from two australian deejays. they addressed the growing public outcry. the london hospital broadcast the prerecorded call was appalling. these ill considered actions was the humiliation of two dedicated and caring nurses simply doing their job.
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the long term consequence was tragic beyond words. her husband paid tribute to his wife on facebook. i am devastated by the loss of my wife. their teenage daughter's message was simple, i love you. this is a tragedy that touches three continents. in india, her sister-in-law says she was beautiful. in britain, a nurse who worked with her came to her defense. >> i don't know what i should have done or anybody else must have done. >> reporter: london police told authorities they may be interested in speaking with the deejays about the prank. now i understand those deejays are said to be in a fragile state. at the same time, keen to speak to the media and talk about what has happened. it's possible they may do that as soon as tomorrow. thomas? >> thank you. still ahead, the looming fiscal
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cliff has small business owners wondering how many people they can employ. we'll get a read on that next. this new mtv show capturing the attention of one u.s. senator is not happy about it one bit. why he wants to put a showstopper on it before it hits the air. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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so, a new poll out finds small business owners expect to have fewer jobs next year than anytime since the recession began. how much is that is due to the looming fiscal cliff.
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joining me now is congresswoman judy, chair of the congress gregsal asian pacific caucus. it's great to have you here. we have been talking about the larger effects of this and the taxation issue and what will happen to the wealthiest of americans. how will going over the fiscal cliff affect small businesses? i believe that being able to have a fairer tax rate will benefit small businesses because small businesses will be able to make sure that they are paying a fairer tax rate as what happened in the clinton tax years when we had an economic boom. >> congresswoman, we hear all the time certainly from the republicans arguments against president obama's plan is the $250,000 tax hike threshold could hurt small businesses. we hear that from all people who
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come on to talk about why they are opposed to it from the right wing that small business owners are going to be the ones hurt by this, the job creators. when we talk about them filing taxes as individuals and the real ones out there, what is your response to that? >> well, look. the people who lost this election are holding out for the top 2% and the people who won this election are fighting for the 98%. that is a vast majority of americans including small businesses. i think that a fairer tax rate could only benefit them. >> this is interesting. you put up a survey on your website asking if your constituents two questions. one, do you want to extend the tax rates for 98% of americans and 97% of businesses and raise rates for those making over $250,000. what have people been responding
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to you through the website? >> oh, the vast majority want a fairer tax rate as to what we had in the clinton tax years. we know that was a time of prosperity. we need to return to that. that is what the polls say. 65% of the american people support president obama's policy on this fiscal issue. >> congresswoman, as we look at the data that has come in and more specific data, since the election and breaking it down by demographic and ethnicity, i want to get your perspective as chair of the caucus because new census data found that for the first time there were more asian immigrants to the u.s. last year than hispanic. in your estimation, what is driving that? >> i think asian americans are seeing the great opportunity that exists here in america and they are looking towards this as a place of innovation and a place to achieve the american dream. perhaps the internet world has
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made the global economy closer so they can see it up front. but, i think that they also want to make sure those ladders of opportunity do continue to exist. that's why we need that fairer tax rate which would make sure that everybody can achieve the american dream. >> congresswoman, thanks for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up in a moment, a celebration for marriage equality. some are worried about the decision to hear two cases about same-sex marriage. we'll see where my next guest stands when weekends with alex witt continues. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
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out cold. a vicious right in the sixth. he flattened manny. it was two minutes before they brought him to his feet. a couple familiar faces you can recognize there. mitt romney and ann. before the fight, the former presidential candidate met him and shook his hand. now, to today's ups and downs. what is going up? household weather. experts are saying it's because of rising stocks and home prices. papa john's ceo had to eat his words saying he would cut employee's hours because of obama care. his reputation plum meted. same with applebee's after the ceo made similar comments. if starbucks is bold enough to sell a $7 cup of coffee, they plan to open 1500 new cafes in the u.s. they hope to open them within
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five years. >> spill to afford us this moment, now, now, now. >> no recommendation for that new lincoln movie from a christian based website. they object to 40 obscenitieobs. is it accurate given lincolns intolerance of obscenity? the top of youtube charts, this treadmill cat keeps up with its owner. those are the ups and downs on weekends with alex witt. look at that cat. huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
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hell-o! try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. welcome back to weekends with alex witt. i'm robert thomas if for alex today. protesters in cairo are not backing down. morsi descended his decree to give himself powers. there's a referendum on a constitution written by his
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islamist allies. hugo chavez is heading back to cuba for cancer. he's talking about the recurrence of cancer and named the vice president as his successor. former south african president, nelson mandela is facing a second night in the hospital. he's in for routine testing. he's in frail health and hasn't made public appearances for years. he had stomach surgery for years. a long range test rocket over the next week and a half. state media is reporting north korea came under heavy internal criticism since the announced plans. here in the states, the lapd is apologizing to the family of the late rapper, no toreious for not releasing the autopsy report. it was released prematurely. the rap star was killed 15 years
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ago in a drive by shooting. those are the fast five headlines. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are butting heads. earlier on "meet the press," dick durbin said the president wants to solve this problem. republican congressman kevin mccarthy claimed the commander and chief is playing political games. >> listen, if we are going to have a certainty for businesses to invest and workers to know new jobs are created, we have to get this behind us once and for all. >> i don't want to do it. the president doesn't want to do it. we cannot allow the reckless position to drive this economy into another recession, a recession the republicans will own. >> ask the president to come off the campaign trail. he's been to pennsylvania. tomorrow, he's going to detroit. it's time to govern. the election is over. >> he's a phone call away. >> he's a phone call away? we will come down to him.
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>> president obama and house speaker john boehner cannot reach a deal. now to the conflict in syria and new reports out of britain say the u.s. is launching an operation to armed rebels. sources telling antitank missiles will be sent through friendly countries. it comes as rebel forces make advances. the fight is far from over for citizens. richard engel has the latest from inside syria. >> parts of syria controlled by the rebels, there's no talk of the diplomatic efforts. the trips and leadings of hillary clinton with the u.n. and her russian counter part, there's no hope here for a diplomatic solution. instead, what people talk about is the suffering of the people. the people are showing
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tremendous resilience. this house was bombed by mistake. the people that live here live next to a rebel commander. now, they are homeless. there's tremendous economic difficulties here. the syrian currency is worth half of what it was worst when the war began. a loaf of bread cost 20 times what it did months ago. the rebels are making advances. they hope to soon control the city, the commercial capital. after that, damascus. richard engel, nbc news. >> we are also hearing new reaction off capitol hill. it's the supreme court's decision to take up two challenges to same-sex marriage. regardless of public opinion, it belongs to the nation's highest court. >> prior to this election, every vote has been and made it through a legislature, not the vote of the people. it's always in california, the people voted itself. we'll look and see from the
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supreme court. >> this is part of our future. marriage equality and the people who made this decision is part of what america is about. >> joining me now is elizabeth birch. it's great to see you today. a lot to talk about. the most recent polling which, i think, will be a surprise to some. 53% in support of legalizing marriage equality, tieing the previous record high. among young people, 18 to 29-year-olds in age range, 73% say they think same-sex marriages should be recognized as valid. you have been on the front lines of this fight. is this an issue that belongs before the nation's highest court and do you feel that this will be something where we see the justices will rule on the right side of history? >> well, yes. and thomas, it's great to see you. what the u.s. supreme court actually agreed to hear is one
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case that is rooted in the california constitution, the prop 8 case. then the so-called defensive marriage act that passed in 1996. when you cite those polls, what's so interesting to me is that this first burst on the national scene in 1996 popped up in conservative research when they were running out of issues and they suddenly went, my god, eureka. this gay marriage issue. this is an amazing weapon to use. the american public does not favor it and it can be used politically. karl rove called it the gift that keeps on giving. for many years, it did. one thing the conservatives did not count on are two things. one, most families have a gay son or daughter they love or a cousin or uncle they cherish. the other thing, thomas, is at
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the end of the day, they didn't anticipate that conservatives themselves would come to see this as a conservative issue. >> sure, it's a traditional value. >> absolutely. >> when you have vehicle dick cheney who has a daughter who wanted to get married and start a family. just not from individuals on the right. we have seen elizabeth now. we have nine states in washington d.c. area having legalized marriage equality. >> right. >> the initial issue with the court taking this issue up was met with relief by certain people, certain marriage equality. some worry having the court involved could stall the progress. do you think there's the possible likelihood of that? >> no. i mean, i think there's always a likelihood, but i think the u.s. supreme court has ended up time and time again in our history reaching up and out when it
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comes to a fundamental right. marriage has been determined to be a fundmental right many, many times by the supreme court. it may invite or somehow inspire some on the right but i hope not, to try to alter our constitution. the fact is that our constitution has been amended 17 times and always to expand rights and never to narrow them except prohibition that got repealed. what's the truth is that this is an issue that has taken hold. it's about civil marriage licenses. there's just been too many people that have now come out and, you know, thousands and millions of individual acts where the american public something the strategists did not anticipate back in 1996 is the american public shifts and as it has become comfortable, they have determined yes, these
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licenses should be extended. you know, the u.s. supreme court could determine this on narrower grounds, just on the california issue and just strike down doma. then we are left with nine states where you can marry and it would remain unresolved as to the other states. seasoning correct. >> if we are ever going to see civil marriage in alabama, it has to be the u.s. supreme court. i think we are living in an amazing era for gay people. hopefully the supreme court will understand its moment in history and like it has done before, come down on the side of justice and fairness. >> elizabeth, when we talk about the fact they had ten they could look at for consideration, i know they take it seriously, they were going to consider the eight doma cases and the two prop 8 cases and whether they would be raised up for further
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investigation. we have one and one. what do you think the odds are that this could be a draw? if we look at it, it's got to be either both are seen as a win for those in terms of expanding america's liberties or a failure. there couldn't be a draw. >> i think it's going to end up being great and historic or very good. i don't think the court would have taken the defensive marriage act, which frankly i'm a lawyer and i think any constitutional law student knows on the face it's constitutional. it bars some thousand and more basic privileges and benefits from flowing to people who have gotten legal civil marriage. that is very un-american. people are paying taxes, cannot take advantage. the other thing that doma
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proports to do is to tell a state that it doesn't have to recognize the gay civil marriage of another state. the fact is that, that's a little arrogant of congress. congress can decide, you know, to actually enforce a uniform approach among the states, but to tell one state they don't have to adhere to the law of another state, that's presumptuo presumptuous. on the prop 8 front, yes, it is about the california constitution. but, what the ninth circuit concluded is that in fact it was also a front to the u.s. constitution. while it didn't rule on that basis, the right to marry is pretty settled and it is constitutional, fundamental right. this is not unique. the united states is way behind other nations. there are many nations around the globe that allow for same
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gender civil marriage. >> elizabeth, great to see you. thanking for your time. >> good to see you. the big three. how is john boehner performing as fiscal cliff negotiator. there's a petition drive demanding the president and lawmakers resolve the crisis or else. you are watching weekends with alex witt. wasn't my daughter's black bean soup spectacular?
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the topics, face-to-face history in the makings and the must read. we bring in the panel. aaron, msnbc contributor robert tray numb and adviser to the hillary clinton and al gore campaigns, doug. doug, i want to start with you. the first topic is face-to-face. what can be accomplished in the one-on-one negotiations between president obama and speaker boehner when you consider friday speaker boehner said the negotiations are nowhere? >> the pressure really is on the speaking and the house republicans. it's quite clear in the polls and everybody knows they are the ones standing in the way of tax relief for middle class working people just because they want to hold that hostage to tax cuts for the 2% richest people. he could, in that meeting, meet the president half way right off the block. say okay, let's take care of
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middle class taxpayers and negotiate over ways to raise revenues. it's a no brainer. he should do it. i don't see what's stopping him now. "the new york times" writes in a private meeting between boehner and house republicans, members after member spoke in support of him in some cases saying a deal they would have rejected six months ago would be taken today. he has support of fellow republicans, but what kind of deal is acceptable to them through speaker boehner? >> they have been clear, they want tax relief for every single american not just small business owners that make a little more than the average middle class person. they want something in writing. the white house is yet to put it in writing. if you look at the debt problem and the enormous government growth in our country, we know this, it's social security and medicare. so, what they want is something
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in writing from the white house. again, what they have to do is say we are committed and serious about entitlement reform. >> even if the president and the speaker reach a compromise, is there a guarantee, though, that this will go through congress? if they can come to a deal, do you think the other underwork is done? >> no. already, there has been chatter that an initial vote could go down on the house floor like we saw the bank bailout go down in late 2008. that's why these negotiations are taking place in private because these two sides don't want to see all of this opposition come from the rank and file and strong arm numbers into volting for it because they have to so we don't go over the fiscal cliff later. >> i want to jump on to the next topic chlgt this has been a big one. robert, i start with you, history in the making with the latest poll showing a reversal in attitudes toward marriage
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equality. 37% thought same-sex marriage should be legal in 2004, now 53% are in support. is the republican party going to evolve with public sentiment on this issue, at least on the public front? perception being reality, the republican party is perceived to be behind the times on this issue. >> thomas, the short answer is i don't know. the long answer is there's two conversations going on within the republican party. do the evangelical wing of the party continue to dominate and they have since 1964 or is the libertarian wing of the party, something i'm more familiar with going to control the party. when you look at the libertarian wing of the party, they are about less government. we could care a less what you do in the privacy of your bedroom and who you fall in love with. it's more about limited government. that's the conversation. if you have that conversation with young people and with
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individuals out there that could care a less about what you do in your private life, that conversation wins. as a gay american, it's something i'm advocating for. >> as we spoke about with elizabeth birch, more than 70% under the age of 29 feel marriage equality is a nonissue and that, you know, young people coming up today think it's a no brainer. doug, many democrats cheered over the summer when president obama came out endorsing his stance saying he evolved on marriage equality. politico is writing his nuance language stopped short of assuring the u.s. constitution gives it right. he said it was best for states to decide. the supreme court is taking up a prop 8 and a doma case. does the president need to take a stronger stance on this now? >> i think he should. both on the substance and the politics. the constitution clearly states
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every american has equal rights under the law. that includes the right for loving committed couples to get married. it's a no brainer. on the pollices, as you said, that 53% support, it shot up ten points in two years. america is at a tipping point on this issue. you are right about the young people. they are going to be the majority of the electorate over the next two presidential cycles. they are already a voice in a n. it's all upside for the president and the democrats. >> erin, i'm going to get you to weigh in after the break on the president's legacy on this issue. and the must-reads, the picks after this. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. with efficient absorption in one daily dose. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from
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"buckwild" focuses on a small town with some young folks in outrageous behavior. a show producer telling "entertainment weekly" that the show is not like looking at a train wreck. rather it has a certain coolness to it. we take you back to the big three, to talk about more about same-sex marriage after the president has come out for this over the summer. what do you think this means for the president's legacy? certainly the fact that there were people that thought that this might hurt him for getting re-elected. it didn't. does that open the gates over the next four years for the president to do more? >> it certainly may. but the president will be remembered for other things first. he is seen more as a follower rather than a leader on this issue. so i don't think it's going to mean much for his legacy other than his he's presided over the country in the time of big social change. >> are you saying because the vice president came out for this first on "meet the press"? >> well that's part of it.
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although the obama administration says that he was planning to come out for gay marriage anyway. but he has changed his thinking over time and he had that very big press conference in late 2010 where he first said that his thinking was evolving. but president obama is you know, a microcosm in a way of the whole country in that his thinking was evolving. >> robert, you wanted to say? >> thomas, let me say for the record i think it's been shameful that the president has not been out in front on this issue. he could have been a transformational on this. >> shameful? are you kidding me? when mitt romney would take away all the rights and you're going to say the president has been shameful? >> okay, let's go there. if you -- >> i don't know if we can go there. i have to get to the must-reads. >> you can't throw that out there. if we're going to put mitt romney in the same sentence, fine. shameful as well. both of them are shameful when it comes to this issue.
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>> mitt romney pitfully shameful. there's not even a comparison, apples and oranges on what they're going for. >> you said shameful. the president is coming out for marriage equality. you would say is shameful? the president coming out over the summer. then what's shameful? what has the president done that's shameful? >> let me repeat whey just said. i think it's shameful that he he said when it came to the vice president coming out on this issue first when he could have been a transformational figure on this issue and could have been a leader on this issue. i find that to be shameful. i think he should have come out much more forcefully sooner than later. >> but you're glad that he's there? >> sure. >> we'll get to our must-reads now. erin, i'll start with you. >> a great story in the "new york times" about the arithmetic and trying to raise revenue to get the $is., $1.6 trillion that the president wants. "u.s.a. today," taking an
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in-depth look in the rapid rise in support by the american public. the justices don't want to get ahead of the public on social issues but the public is already there. >> and the last word to my buddy, robert traynham. "new york times," hillary clinton talking about 2016. a must-read. robert traynham, erin mcpike, doug hattaway, this will wrap up my edition of "sundays with alex witt." i'm thomas roberts, have a good one. i'll see you tomorrow. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
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